Importance of Communication and Feedback in Sexual Pleasure
– The speaker emphasizes the importance of communication and feedback when it comes to sexual pleasure and satisfaction.
– Many couples struggle to communicate their preferences and desires during sexual activities.
– It is unrealistic to expect partners to automatically understand each other’s needs without verbal communication.
– Open and honest communication allows couples to reach a “sweet spot” of mutual pleasure.
Embracing Misatune and Post-Intercourse Intimacy
– The speaker encourages embracing misatune, or the need to make adjustments and pivot during sexual encounters.
– The importance of post-intercourse intimacy, such as cuddling, and stroking their partner’s hair, is discussed.
– Touch is crucial throughout the sexual experience.
Analysing Intercourse and Improving Touch
– The speaker urges couples to analyze their intercourse and provide feedback on aspects like speed, duration, position, kissing, and emotional connection.
– Creative solution to maintain eye contact during doggy style position is shared.
– The importance of touch in other areas and its impact on sexual pleasure is mentioned.
Erotic Touch and Playful Interaction
– The speaker discusses the concept of erotic touch and its role in achieving mutual orgasm.
– The importance of playful touch and incorporating activities like dancing and strip tease is emphasized.
– Playful interaction seen as a form of pre-foreplay or foreplay to make bodies more alive, engaged, and intentional.
Understanding Personal Preferences and Open-Mindedness
– The speaker encourages exploration and open-mindedness in various sexual activities.
– Different individuals may have different preferences, and the goal is to have more material to discuss with one’s partner.
– Importance of finding the right fit or match in various aspects of life is highlighted using the analogy of finding the right sushi.
Alternative Stimulation and Experimentation
– The importance of alternative forms of stimulation before or after intercourse, such as oral sex or using a vibrator, is discussed.
– The speaker encourages people to experiment with different ways of being touched, including different pressures, sensations, vibrations, tickles, textures, and temperatures.
– Importance of being specific and allowing someone to try different things to find out what one likes.
Joe Davis – Announcer [00:00:00]:
The following content is not suitable for children.
George Faller [00:00:02]:
Touch so important to a loving bond? Let’s talk more deeply about it today.
Laurie Watson [00:00:11]:
Welcome to foreplay sex therapy. I’m Dr. Laurie Watson, your sex therapist.
George Faller [00:00:16]:
And I’m George Faller, your couples therapist.
Laurie Watson [00:00:18]:
We are here to talk about sex.
George Faller [00:00:20]:
Our mission is to help couples talk about sex in ways that incorporate their body, their mind, and their hearts, and.
Laurie Watson [00:00:29]:
We have a little bit of fun doing it.
George Faller [00:00:30]:
Right, g. I’m out representing the men out here.
Laurie Watson [00:00:33]:
We can talk about sex, and I am representing women who can also talk about sex and to help them feel.
George Faller [00:00:39]:
Comfortable talking about sex, listen, and let’s change some relationships. All right, Laurie. So we get a lot of questions and comments about touch, and I think most of us just throw it into this general category. Touch. Do you like touch? Do you not like touch? I think today be great to get a little bit more specific. We know how important specificity is, right? So let’s see if we can do that today. I know we have this article from Barry McCarthy, who’s a fantastic sex therapist. He is shifting Gears the five dimensions of touch. So I think it will give us a nice framework to get a little bit more specific as we’re talking about. And we invite you, listeners, to just think about which of these areas of touch really work for you, which maybe you want to get a little bit better at or your partner. The more intentional you are, the more you can increase it and measure success.
Laurie Watson [00:01:34]:
I love it. I think that sometimes we say touch is our love language, but this breaks down the degrees of touch from kind of affection all the way to sexual intercourse. And I think what’s important, especially for women who are more receptive in their desire, their bodies don’t turn on until they feel aroused. So this is a pathway, I think, that he has laid out that might get her there with she might not feel turned on, so it’s okay to stop, but this at least gives her a basis to have her body get going.
George Faller [00:02:09]:
Exactly. And we want to not limit touch, just the bedroom. This is 24/7, right? So let’s get into it. You want to start us off?
Laurie Watson [00:02:18]:
Yeah. Five gears. So his first gear, he says, is affectionate touch. And so it’s basically hugging, kissing hello, goodbye, holding hands. It’s not really considered with most people, intimate or deeply sexual, but it is kind of this basis of greeting and patting each other when you walk by and ruffling each other’s hair. I mean, there’s, like, a way to just have an affectionate relationship, right?
George Faller [00:02:50]:
So, again, you’re walking out to your car and you reach over and grab your partner’s hand. It’s not leading to anything. It’s just a little nice signal to your partner that, hey, you matter to me. And it’s a nice little moment of connection.
Laurie Watson [00:03:05]:
Yeah. My stepmom and dad did a good job of this. I remember I was a teenager, so it was a little much, I thought. But they would sit down and watch television together, and my stepmom would always slip her hand sort of inside my father’s thigh. And it wasn’t very sexual, but it was very intimate. And I knew that as a kid, as a teenager. But they often hugged and kissed goodbye and very affectionate.
George Faller [00:03:34]:
And that outside the bedroom. Touch really just gets the body repetitions. Right. So many couples don’t touch and then just expect it to turn on in the bedroom. And this affectionate touch, I think, is so important to just kind of bridge the gap that often couples can find.
Laurie Watson [00:03:54]:
Yeah. And I think we need so much of this. We need this as certainly a foundation for sex, but we just need this as people don’t people die without being hugged? And there’s some research and studies on that.
George Faller [00:04:08]:
Yeah. And I think about my sons. I mean, it’s just that moment. That hug is just saying, you let go of everything. You’re in that moment. There’s a moment of gratitude where you just appreciate this connection with this person. So it could be with your dog, it could be whatever the situation, but this need to just be part of something else. Right. I think it’s so critically important.
Laurie Watson [00:04:33]:
I agree. I’m such a toucher. I hug my friends, I reach out and touch everybody. My girlfriends tease me because when I’m walking with them, I walk into them because I want to be close to their body. And there’s just something natural to me about wanting to touch people that you care about and you’re connected to.
George Faller [00:04:55]:
And this is where people can get more mindful. If you grew up not in a family with a lot of touch, this is a little bit harder for you, but we believe it’s your native language. So if you just put yourself in situations where you kind of just push yourself to do it, it will become more comfortable with repetitions.
Laurie Watson [00:05:13]:
Absolutely. Attachment begins in the body. It’s not emotional. Attachment begins in the body. As our parents hold us, stroke us, cuddle us, look at us, delight in us, it’s that first physical safety and comfort that we get. And so that’s where it all begins.
George Faller [00:05:30]:
Nice. All right, let’s move on. Okay, second gear. Sensual touch. What’s he talking about here, Laurie?
Laurie Watson [00:05:40]:
I like this one. Yeah, this is just it’s moving it up a notch, right? It could be foot rubs or back rubs or laying next to each other on the couch while you’re watching TV. Or maybe cuddling in bed, cradling each other. My favorite position to cuddle in bed is like my front to my husband’s back. Something about that feels super connecting and safe and warm. I don’t know. I really like that. And certainly it’s sensual, but it’s just part of it. It’s not necessarily we’re having sex or we’re going to have sex. I just like that kind of cuddling.
George Faller [00:06:18]:
Right, so it’s taking affection to the next level.
Laurie Watson [00:06:21]:
George Faller [00:06:22]:
There’s more of a full body kind of engulfment going on here. It can start to lead towards sex, or it doesn’t necessarily need to, but it’s non genital kind of touch.
Laurie Watson [00:06:33]:
George Faller [00:06:34]:
Laurie Watson [00:06:35]:
I have a girlfriend who she read my book in early stages, and she kind of is a low desire woman. And one of the things I said for women who maybe are low desire, they give up on demanding the types of touch that they want. And she said after reading my book, she said, I am absolutely going to ask my husband regularly for foot rubs. Because she said, I know I need that connection, and that really feels good to me. And she can accept that. And she saw that one of the things she did as a low desire person is she kind of stopped asking for what she did need because it got bound up in their struggle sexually.
George Faller [00:07:20]:
Yeah. I remember after 911, I don’t know, I was down at the Trade Center for a couple of months working, and they had this reflexology person. So we’re on break, and I don’t know how they get me to do it, but I take off my shoes and this lady starts rubbing my feet, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt anything as good in my life. I was, like, ashamed. Like I shouldn’t like this. I was trying to pretend I didn’t like it because all the guys were looking at me, but I was like, Damn, that felt amazing.
Laurie Watson [00:07:49]:
George Faller [00:07:51]:
So for you men out there that don’t want your feet rubbed, give it a shot. You might realize it’s an amazing way you like being touched.
Laurie Watson [00:07:58]:
Yeah, I love that.
George Faller [00:08:01]:
Again, I think some of us think we know how we like being touched, but we’ve never experimented with different ways, and that’s what we’re encouraging here. If there’s parts of your body that never really touched, try it out. And when we talk about touch, there’s so many different pressures and sensations and vibrations and tickles and textures and temperatures. Again, well, pain is another one. Right. Some people like it firm, some people like it light. Like, you just can’t say, I like touch. Maybe you didn’t like your foot touch because somebody was tickling it. They would have given you really firm pressure. You might have loved your feet being rubbed. Sure. Don’t give up on an area. Just get more specific on. Let somebody try different things and see what you like.
Laurie Watson [00:08:49]:
Right. And speaking of pain, I think this category is when your partner walks by and slaps you on the butt or on the booty. That’s kind of sensual, but it’s not necessarily the beginning of sex to the other side.
George Faller [00:09:04]:
It probably is a bit erotic for the person doing it. But maybe not for the person receiving it.
Laurie Watson [00:09:10]:
Oh, maybe both. It could be both. I mean, it’s erotic. Sensual, erotic works. Okay, the next one, playful Touch.
George Faller [00:09:21]:
Laurie Watson [00:09:22]:
Maybe I’m mixing up my categories, but Playful touch. Okay. Playful touch is like it might be genital touch. It might be non genital touch. So this is when you get in the shower with each other or you do a full body massage. Somebody I know, a couple of people I know, actually, they have literal massage tables that they pull out of the closet and they invite their partner to be massage. And they pull out the candles and the oil, and they give each other these long massages. That sounds neat. Seductive or erotic dancing that I think huge turn on for so many women I know. They say, Wish I’d married a dancer. Really great. Or games like Strip Poker Twister. Have you ever played Twister naked?
George Faller [00:10:11]:
I have not. But I begame to hope my wife is listening to this podcast.
Laurie Watson [00:10:19]:
There she goes. Okay, so playful touch, it’s a bridge into sexual desire.
George Faller [00:10:27]:
And I guess I get a little confused between that sensual touch cuddling and maybe giving a massage or back rub and this more playful touch, which, again, we’re using the same word, massage. And this is more introducing the kind of the teasing aspect of it, the joke and the playfulness. I’m trying to differentiate between a sensual touch and a playful touch.
Laurie Watson [00:10:57]:
I think that’s good to think about. Yeah. This to me, is moving towards sex. Playful touch is moving towards sex playful.
George Faller [00:11:07]:
With a little intention behind it.
Laurie Watson [00:11:11]:
Yeah. So if we’re talking about a woman, though, whose body doesn’t turn on and she doesn’t really feel desire until her body turns on, how would she enter this playful touch without pressure, without saying, I have to. Now I’m watching. Now I’m waiting. Is my body turning on? Is there a way to go into playful touch, maybe as a partner, and not feel disappointed if your partner’s body doesn’t turn on?
George Faller [00:11:44]:
Right, so I’m sure if I’m confused, I’ll listen to some of them are going to be confused too. So this playful is starting to introduce some of the erotic, right? I’m going to do a little dance. I’m going to do a little strip tease. We’re going to play a little bit of game. Again, it’s that pre foreplay, or it’s even a type of foreplay, right, that’s just getting people’s bodies kind of more alive, more engaged, more intentional. It’s not just the only way is through the sensual touch. Give me a massage. This is just another way of really kind of getting the body alive with the playfulness, with the teasing, with the gameplay.
Laurie Watson [00:12:26]:
Yeah. I think there’s a difference between, hey, would you rub my back? Or your partner pulls out a massage table. There’s a difference there in terms of what’s coming, what it’s all about.
George Faller [00:12:40]:
And as we’re going through this. We do keep encouraging that exploration, like, not only if you like something, but why do you not like something? Why do you not like to dance or do a little tease or play a little bit of a game? Is that just old kind of training? Or is it something that you might want to revisit and some of you are going to be more attracted to, say, sensual and love to cuddle in? And that’s really what gets you going. And other people would love the playfulness. There’s no right or wrong to this. We’re just trying to give you kind of more material to have a conversation with your partner. So let’s come back and get to four and five. Laurie okay. All right. If you’re a fan of sushi, it’s incredible. I know Lori loves sushi, but gas station sushi, not so much. Finding the right sushi makes all the difference. The same goes for finding the right doctor.
Laurie Watson [00:13:39]:
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Laurie Watson [00:16:30]:
Fourth gear. George, this is different than fourth base, right? Fourth gear.
George Faller [00:16:35]:
Fourth gear is the home run. Is the fourth gear.
Laurie Watson [00:16:39]:
No, fifth gear is home run.
George Faller [00:16:41]:
Five bases in this game.
Laurie Watson [00:16:43]:
George Faller [00:16:45]:
I like this game.
Laurie Watson [00:16:47]:
Fourth gear. It’s erotic touch. So this is maybe non intercourse, but basically when we’re touching each other’s genitals and it’s oral sex stimulation, using a vibrator, all of that, that is actually trying to arouse each other’s genitals. So we’re going for it. I mean, this is it.
George Faller [00:17:09]:
Okay, well, a lot of people might blow past this, too, though, right into the intercourse. So there’s something about slowing this down and getting clear on what are the different ways your genitals like to be touched.
Laurie Watson [00:17:23]:
Yeah. Do you know? Do you tell? I think this is so important right here, like show and tell and a discussion about the different types of touches. One of our sponsors oh, my God, yes. Please use the coupon. Foreplay has a film on specifically touching the clitoris, which is really helpful. It gives language. And look at that one.
George Faller [00:17:50]:
It is educational. I remember watching it saying, damn, that clitoris is sensitive and needs exactly the right speed and direction. You need feedback. You need to be able to kind of talk to your partner about it. And I think most couples don’t really know how to do that. They don’t want to say, a little faster, a little low, or a little to the right. That actually could be a turn on because you’re getting more into it when you can get it exactly the way you want it’s. Your partner’s not doing anything wrong. How can they know? They’re not in your body. So I think we all have this illusion, maybe because of Hollywood, that we’re supposed to read each other’s bodies and perfectly be attuned to it. And that’s just nuts. When we train therapists, we tell them, embrace misatune. And it’s part of the process. You’re supposed to get feedback and shift and to pivot. Same thing sexually. Like, I’m going to probably go too fast when I start to get turned on with my wife and she’s going a bit slower. So us to be able to communicate that to each other is so important for us to get into that sweet spot.
Laurie Watson [00:18:56]:
He also mentions here erotic scenarios. So setting up the scene, maybe a role play or something that is creative and unpredictable. Halloween is coming up, and Halloween there’s all those costumes that at least after Halloween, go on sale for half price. I always say to people, go buy some of know the nurse costume, the schoolgirl, the vampire. There we go. George is thinking kink. Is vampire your kink?
George Faller [00:19:27]:
I’m thinking of the vampire as I play that Twister game. Try to combine these things, really make it fun. And you could combine them. You could have a little of this touch with the playfulness. Right.
Laurie Watson [00:19:39]:
Just the cape, nothing else. Twister. That would be good. Yeah. Okay. But basically erotic touch is mutual and is going toward orgasm, I guess he says it could be one way or the other. Like it could be mutual or it could be just one person having an orgasm. But I kind of imagine I suppose if it’s not your night and you want to give your partner an orgasm, that would be okay too. But most of the time I would think this would be very exciting and arousing for both people. I mean, touching your partner. I think some people I think, can touch their partner and not be turned on. I hear people say, well, I give oral sex but it doesn’t do anything for me. I’m like, really? That doesn’t impact you? That doesn’t turn you on or you don’t feel something when your partner is getting turned on? That’s hard for me to understand. I suppose there could be times when you’re just not in the mood and so you just do your partner well.
George Faller [00:20:39]:
I know also some couples take turns. One person gets off first and then we focus on the other person. Where other couples try to work towards a mutual orgasm. Right. There’s no right or wrong in this but just it again comes back to the communication. Is what you’re doing working? If there are things you need to adjust, can you talk to each other about it? And this erotic touch is so important and I think most couples I work with do not. Actually, once the sexual act starts and the foreplay and they’re getting hot and heavy, there’s no communication happening.
Laurie Watson [00:21:16]:
Yeah, maybe they’re just like lost in their bodies. That could be a really good thing, being lost in the moment. But I think eventually or at other times maybe that debrief and talking about it and what were you feeling? That gives us information about our partner’s inner sexual world and their mind and what’s going on for them.
George Faller [00:21:40]:
Right. And I think what stops most people is to fear it’s so loving. I don’t want to hurt my partner’s feelings. My partner’s into it. I don’t really want to say anything and we really want to dispel a lot of that myth. Most partners appreciate the feedback. It helps them kind of get clearer on having success. You could work on how you like I love that. A little bit faster. You could work on how you deliver the message. But withholding the message out of protection, just continues to leave that kind of gap and more likely the same thing is going to happen next. Time.
Laurie Watson [00:22:18]:
So you’re saying if you really need something during this time, go ahead and ask for it or direct it.
George Faller [00:22:28]:
Laurie Watson [00:22:29]:
I definitely think that positive direction during this level of arousal is important. Rather than saying, I don’t like that, which is kind of a block, but just saying, oh, could you switch to this now? Or I really want you to do it harder, faster. I think asking about what you do want versus the block of saying, I don’t like that. I don’t want to do that, or don’t do that, or that’s too hard. If you’re saying that’s too hard, that hurts. Could you just say, you know what? I’m a little sensitive. Could you do that softer? Or could we switch somewhere else? There’s so much more of a green light in that.
George Faller [00:23:11]:
Right. Asking for what you want leads to good sex. When people learn to ask for what they want, they have good sex. It’s the people who can’t ask are the ones that kind of run into trouble. And we have good reasons to not ask because we’ve never had people help us. I mean, growing up, I never had a male mentor that said, this is how you talk about things. So when you don’t get those repetitions, it’s hard to do. But I am always excited when somebody goes in a direction of asking for what they want, because once they go down that road, I know they’re going to be good.
Laurie Watson [00:23:44]:
Yeah. How many men do you think George grew up? Even if they got the talk, especially during the talk, do you think that they were told by their parents or their father, by the way, touch your clitoris?
George Faller [00:24:00]:
No. How could the dad say that when you don’t know what a clitoris is?
Laurie Watson [00:24:08]:
George Faller [00:24:11]:
Hopefully that’s changing.
Laurie Watson [00:24:12]:
Hopefully that’s changing.
George Faller [00:24:13]:
We got a whole nother generation that’s waking up with women wanting to talk about it and men wanting to know about it.
Laurie Watson [00:24:19]:
George Faller [00:24:20]:
Which is not just a good thing for women, it’s a really good thing for men. They want to know. And so much of the couples I work with and the research is saying it’s the men who are it’s so important for them to please their partner. It’s not just about their orgasm. They really want to be good lovers. They really want their partner to be into it, to want to have sex for themselves. And for that to happen, both of them have to be able to talk to each other.
Laurie Watson [00:24:45]:
I agree. I think it’s really painful. I think probably as a woman, if she feels this, but I hear and I see men cringe when their partner says their female partner says, all you want is sex. And he’s like, no, I want it to be good for you. Your turn on is my turn on. It’s like I love that moment either when you’re orgasming or when I see the lights turn on on your body and you’re aroused, you’re breathing heavy, you’re sweating. That’s so exciting for them. And I think that sometimes in the negative cycle, that can get lost. But I agree. Most of the men I work with love it when their partners turn on.
George Faller [00:25:29]:
Right? All right, fifth gear. Fifth gear. Bang. The intercourse.
Laurie Watson [00:25:35]:
The intercourse so incredible. Barry McCarthy, who is the sex therapist who wrote this article in Psychology Today, we’ll put the link in our show notes, but he know it’s a natural continuation of the process. It doesn’t mean if you can’t have intercourse that you’re failing, or if something happens, it shouldn’t be a problem. And you can have intercourse and then go back to other stimulation. I mean, that’s one thing. I think if a couple has a quickie and maybe her body turns on because intercourse is stimulating, but she hadn’t been quite as aroused to have an orgasm first, why not go back and go down on her or bring out the vibrator or something, right?
George Faller [00:26:25]:
And this isn’t in order. Like you’re saying it’s wise. After the orgasm, the intercourse is done. Then maybe you go back to that sensual touch and you just cuddle that afterglow period. This is where maybe you are more affectionate and you just want to stroke your partner’s hair. I mean, touch is instrumental throughout. But yes, we want to be able to enjoy this beautiful process of intercourse. It’s the closest we are ever going to come to merging with another person, to lose ourselves, to kind of get caught up in this transformation. And so many couples, because they don’t touch in all these other areas, they’re set up to then fail in the intercourse area, too. So let’s just break down the intercourse. What is it? Can you give that feedback? What is working? Is it too fast? Is it too short? Is it not the right position? Is it not enough kissing? Is the person not connected enough? What are the brakes? What are the gas bells? There’s so much here to engage with.
Laurie Watson [00:27:22]:
And in different positions. I think we feel different things both physiologically but also emotionally. Sometimes people say, Well, I don’t like it from behind because it’s not as intimate and it’s like, okay, well, but do you feel other things when it’s from behind? I mean, you could have it face to face and then other times from behind. I think there’s so much to be felt emotionally and physically in many different positions that talking about it and getting clear, like, maybe your partner only wants to do it from behind and you’re like, okay, I need some face to face time.
George Faller [00:27:58]:
I had a creative solution to that. Laurie I had a partner who held a mirror from behind and would hold it up and the other person would just wave as they were doggy style, and they would joke about it. There’s that playfulness. But they would have that eye contact that was important to the one partner to just know and you understand the history. There was some trauma. There was some incidents like that. Really being able to ask for what you need. I need safety. I need slowness. I need to be able to ask for what you need, especially around touch is one of the most important things we can do in a sexual encounter.
Laurie Watson [00:28:37]:
God, I need mirrors. That is fun. You can take those stand up mirrors and lay them on their side and then make love sort of next to it and see yourselves and so many different positions become more visual. It’s like, that could be good.
George Faller [00:28:54]:
I love that he added playfulness. I mean, sex was made to be fun. So many people turn it into this serious workout or performance, and that’s cool some of the time, but you got to be able to laugh and not take yourself so serious and let yourself go. So that’s a type of touch, and we hope you all are finding ways of listening to these five gears and saying, you know what? Number two is not so much on my list. I want more of it. If you want more of it, you’ll get it. It’s the want, and that’s the key.
Laurie Watson [00:29:25]:
Okay, so start with affection, sensual touch, playful touch, erotic touch, and intercourse. We would love to hear your feedback. How’s it going out there? Five gears. Thanks for listening.
George Faller [00:29:40]:
Keep it hot, y’all.
Laurie Watson [00:29:42]:
Okay, so tell us about your cutting edge training that you’re doing on success and vulnerability.
George Faller [00:29:48]:
Laurie we just keep pushing it. Coming up with a new module on the playbook of a pursuer, playbook of a withdrawal. Really practical, moment by moment moves of what a therapist can use. We’re so focused on what’s happening in session enough, there’s talk about theories and these global things. I think most therapists are looking for, what do I do in this moment? Give me a tool. George so that’s what we’re trying to do.
Laurie Watson [00:30:14]:
That’s awesome. I am so glad you guys are doing this work. I think it helps us be organized to see you do it. You do demos, you do explanations. Teaching it really is interactive, and I think that so many trainings that we sit through don’t give us an opportunity for that. So what you’re doing is really important.
George Faller [00:30:33]:
No, we try to emphasize, to teach it, show it, do it model of learning. You need to have some ideas. So we try to teach those, and then we try to show what it looks like implementing those ideas. But most importantly, you now got to practice it. That’s how they become yours. And that’s what we want our listeners and watchers to do, is become their own moves.
Laurie Watson [00:30:52]:
Find George and his firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joe Davis – Announcer [00:30:57]:
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